Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin has been keeping his emotions bottled inside for quite some time. How long? Possibly eight months.
On October 30, it was clear something was wrong with Martin.
Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported last week that Martin flipped out and smashed his food tray on the ground. He left the team and has not returned since then.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that Martin’s emotional breakdown was due to a teammate, Richie Incognito, who was suspended by the Dolphins.
Incognito left Martin a voice mail in which he used a myriad of slurs and threatened to kill him.
“It’s just sad because it’s a bad rep for football,” said Kansas junior punt returner Connor Embree. “We know to treat one another like blood brothers.”
As reports continue to emerge, Incognito has been universally labeled as a bully.
“The funny thing is, we talk about how different the NFL is,” said Mike Lubitz, a sports producer for 940 WINZ. “It’s still a workplace and you should feel comfortable going into work.”
The national media has pointed a small portion of the blame on Martin for not speaking up and informing head coach Joe Philbin on the issue. But the media has laid the blame on Philbin, general manager Jeff Ireland and teammates for not being aware nor putting an end to Incognito’s actions.
“The teams that run fairly well, you don’t hear things like this because they have good locker room leadership,” Lubitz said. “The Dolphins don’t have that.”
While fans and the media continue to decide who to blame, Lubitz said the front office has to take responsibility.
“I think it goes throughout the organization,” Lubitz said. “Incognito has a history of things like this, and teams need to take consideration of this when they evaluate a guy, like Incognito, and possibly signing them.”
But football players at Kansas said this is a rare occasion and with the amount of leadership in their locker room, this would never happen.
At the same time, the players realize that bullying can happen at any age and must be prevented in a locker room atmosphere.
“I think it’s crazy for guys to be so old and bully someone,” said senior offensive lineman Aslam Sterling. “By the time you’re in the NFL, you should be more mature. It wouldn’t happen in our locker room.”